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Industrial Action Could Have Been Avoided Long Ago

24 August 2005

Industrial Action Could Have Been Avoided Long Ago

The Nurse Maude Association says it is saddened that its nurses have voted to take industrial action over a pay equity issue that should have been addressed by health funders a year ago.

Nurse Maude’s Chief Executive Ingrid Thomas says the nurses’ intention to strike for 24 hours on September 9 and 10 is the direct consequence of the Ministry and DHB failing to restore pay equity for nurses following last year’s 20 per cent increase for DHB nurses around the country.

“We were among the first to congratulate the nurses covered by the MECA settlement and we have been working hard to ensure that our nurses, who stand outside the district health board, receive similar recognition. Sadly the Ministry and DHB have resisted all of our appeals for comparable funding.”

“This is now a community-wide issue which may have a major impact on people requiring care. The industrial action is planned for a Friday, when the hospital services are working hard to discharge patients from their wards. The disruption for the hospital system might be substantial”.

“Nurse Maude Association has done everything possible to support its nurses in receiving equity with their colleagues and will continue to support its nurses, who deserve to be valued equally with nurses in the hospital sector. Obviously, patient care is our first priority.

We will be doing everything we can to ensure the high standard of patient care is maintained and will now focus on contingency plans. It is inevitable however, that industrial action will have an impact on the delivery of community services.”

Nurse Maude Association is Canterbury’s major provider of community nurses, providing approximately 107,000 hours of community nursing services each year.

ENDS

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